Cramps

Trail Running (UK) - - Body Maintenance -

We get cramps when our mus­cles start to contract in­vol­un­tar­ily. Cramps are phys­i­cal and vis­ual – you can of­ten see the mus­cle spas­ming into a knot.

AVOID THEM Stay hy­drated by drink­ing well be­fore your run or tak­ing a drink with you on runs longer than 90min or in hot con­di­tions. Po­tas­sium and mag­ne­sium help your mus­cles work more ef­fi­ciently, but be­fore you reach for the sup­ple­ments you can boost your po­tas­sium in­take by eat­ing more sweet po­tato, av­o­cado and but­ter­nut squash, while nuts and seeds are an ex­cel­lent source of mag­ne­sium. Seem­ingly, the more tired the mus­cle the more fre­quent the cramp. The best way to avoid mus­cle fa­tigue in races is to en­sure you’ve trained prop­erly so your mus­cles are adapted to the ef­fort.

TREAT THEM Stop run­ning and start stretch­ing the cramp­ing mus­cle. If it’s not too painful, gen­tly mas­sage the painful area in a bid to help the mus­cle re­lax. But don’t stay static for too long. By mov­ing around gen­tly you are telling your mus­cle that it needs to get back into a pat­tern of reg­u­lar con­trac­tion and re­lax­ation.

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